Tatjana Smith (Nee Schoenmaker) Clocks #3 200 Breaststroke Performance All-Time – 2:19.01


26-year-old Tatjana Smith (nee Schoenmaker) already fired off a swift outing of 2:19.92 this morning to lead the heats of the women’s 200m breaststroke. That checked in as the 4th-best time of the Olympic champion’s career.

Flash forward to tonight, however, and Smith dropped nearly an entire second, ultimately getting to the wall in a result of 2:19.01 to put the world on notice ahead of the Paris Games.

Smith split 32.62/34.71/35.80/35.88 to produce the sole time of the field under the 2:23 threshold. The next-closest was Kaylene Corbett who touched in 2:23.71 for silver.

In doing so, she established the 2nd-fastest time of her career and touched only .06 outside of the then-world record-setting performance which garnered her gold in Tokyo.

Russian Evgenia Chikunova since crushed a mark of 2:17.55 to drop the WR down to other-worldly territory. Below is a comparison of splits between the former WR, current WR and Smith’s time tonight.

Current WR – Evgenia Chikunova (RUS), 2:17.55, 2023 Former WR – Tatjana Smith (RSA), 2:18.95, 2021 Smith’s Time
Tonight – 2:19.01
32.13 31.64 32.62
35.15 35.42 34.71
35.19 35.42 35.80
35.08 36.47 35.88

Entering these championships, Smith’s season-best rested at the 2:20.30 she logged at December’s South African World Championship Trials, although she wound up not competing in Doha.

Tatjana Smith‘s Top 5 LCM 200 Breaststroke Performances All-Time

  1. 2:18.95 – 2021 Olympic Games
  2. 2:19.01 – 2024 South African Olympic Trials
  3. 2:19.16 – 2021 Olympic Games (heats)
  4. 2:19.33 – 2021 Olympic Games (semi-final)
  5. 2:19.92 – 2024 South African Olympic Trials (heats)

Smith also now owns 4 of the top 10 200m breaststroke performances ever. She ranks #1 in the world on the season, overtaking the crown from American Kate Douglass from her semi-final time in Doha.

Top 10 Women’s LCM 200 Breast Performances in History

  1. 2:17.55 – Evgenia Chikunova (RUS), 2023
  2. 2:18.95 – Tatjana Schoenmaker (RSA), 2021
  3. 2:19.01 – Tatjana Smith (RSA), 2024
  4. 2:19.11 – Rikke Moller-Pedersen (DEN), 2013
  5. 2:19.16 – Tatjana Schoenmaker (RSA), 2021
  6. 2:19.30 – Kate Douglass (USA), 2024
  7. 2:19.33 – Tatjana Schoenmaker (RSA), 2021
  8. 2:19.41 – Yuliya Efimova (RUS), 2013
  9. 2:19.59 – Rebecca Soni (USA), 2012
  10. 2:19.61 – Rikke Moller-Pedersen (DEN), 2014


2023-2024 LCM Women 200 Breast

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1 month ago

1:05.41 in the heats. #2 time this year behind Tang Qianting

1 month ago

I told you Queen Tatjana’s gonna retain her title 😍 Can’t wait to see her 100.

Stewart Fenwick
Reply to  Troyy
1 month ago

I hope so!

Her brightest smile (even when she lost in 100) lightened up the dour atmosphere of Tokyo Olympics swimming venue.

Reply to  Troyy
1 month ago

Might be a different story if Evgenia chikunova changes her mind.

Last edited 1 month ago by Carlo
Mr Piano
1 month ago

That 2:17.55 is insane

Reply to  Mr Piano
1 month ago

“Otherworldly”, as they say

Aragon Son of Arathorne
1 month ago

I can see those first 3 listed for this year as our podium order in Paris.

Reply to  Aragon Son of Arathorne
1 month ago


Reply to  Aragon Son of Arathorne
1 month ago

These three are far ahead of everyone else. If Douglas wants to win instead of getting a bronze she will have to get out much faster

Reply to  Aragon Son of Arathorne
1 month ago

In that order too!!!!

1 month ago

Would Smith & Corbett be the only qualifiers so far ?

1 month ago

All of the big guns are coming up bigtime in the lead up to Paris

Beginner Swimmer at 25
1 month ago

Kate Douglass fans in shambles 😭

Aragon Son of Arathorne
Reply to  Beginner Swimmer at 25
1 month ago

why? she swam her PB at a pro swim series.

Stewart Fenwick
Reply to  Aragon Son of Arathorne
1 month ago

Kate Douglas swam faster in all her individual events in the lead up to Fukuoka than in Fukuoka.

Reply to  Stewart Fenwick
1 month ago

The same in Tokyo and Budapest.

I miss the ISL (Go dawgs)
1 month ago

Kate Douglass is no longer jumping for joy after the Chikunova article
This is gonna be a great race! Tatjana, KD, Schouten, and whoever else wants to join the sub-2:20 party!

Reply to  I miss the ISL (Go dawgs)
1 month ago

Considering she did not win at Doha, I doubt she ever felt she was a sure thing for gold.

Reply to  LBSWIM
1 month ago

She probably didn’t. Lots of people on here did though

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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